A puck line is a type of hockey bet. A wager is made on a team with a spread. Since hockey games have low scores puck lines spreads are on average much smaller compared to those of football and basketball.
How do Puck Lines work
The puck line's spread is applied to the final score of the match when grading the wager. Betting on a puck line with a negative number would require that team to win by at least a certain number of goals. In the example below the Montreal Canadiens puck line is set at -1.5 with 2.70 decimal odds. In order to win this bet Montreal would need to win by 2 or more goals. Because it has a smaller chance of winning the -1.5 puck line yields better odds (2.70) compared to betting on an outright victory with the moneyline (2.30).
|Montreal Canadiens||-1.5 (2.70)||Over 6.5 (1.91)||1.66|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1.5 (1.50)||Under 6.5 (1.91)||2.30|
The other side of the puck line market will feature a positive spread. This would win either if the team wins outright, or loses by a certain number of goals. Using the same example the Toronto Maple Leafs puck line is +1.5 with 1.50 odds. If Toronto were to win outright or lose by only 1 goal bets on the +1.5 puck line would win. Because this has a greater probability of occurring the +1.5 puck line odds (1.50) are worse than the moneyline odds (2.30).
Because hockey is a low scoring sport relative to football and basketball most puck line spreads are small. Due to the parity in the NHL most spreads will be at 1.5. Some international hockey matches which feature a greater difference in skill between competing teams could feature larger spreads.